The No. 10 women and No. 5 men of the UChicago tennis program continued their hot streaks this weekend as they took on two top-35 teams in Indianapolis. Both teams defeated Denison and DePauw in blowouts; the women finished 8–1 against both No. 22 Denison and No. 25 DePauw, while the men took down the No. 33 Big Red and No. 34 Tigers 9–0 and 8–1, respectively.
Defeating two ranked opponents bodes well for the remainder of the season for the South Siders, as the ITA Championships quickly approach in the coming weeks. After that tournament, the squads will begin their spring campaign.
The Maroons started their dominant weekend against Denison on Saturday. The men jumped out to a 3–0 lead during doubles play and never looked back, downing every single Denison player in singles. Indeed, only two games of 12 were decided by less than a three-point spread.
Third-year Nick Chua spoke on the team’s doubles performance, saying, “Historically, singles have been our strength because of the level of singles talent that we’ve had as a team. Doubles, however, requires a lot more team practice and drilling than individual talent. There’s still a long way to go, but I think we’re getting a lot better and the results show.”
The women, on the other hand, started out slow, at least compared an incredibly high standard considering they were undefeated in doubles play during 2017. After dropping the No. 1 doubles match-up, they rattled off two doubles wins and then swept singles play, with only one game going to extra points.
Second-year Rachel Kim said, “Growing up, we all played a lot of competitive singles matches, so we all come from a strong singles background. It helps that we are solid from top to bottom in singles, if we ever do need to pull through after a tough doubles round.” Moving forward, the squad is looking to start the matches strong with a 3–0 doubles win.
Both squads had to make a quick turnaround, as they faced off against DePauw just the next morning. The men again dominated doubles play, as they finished with scores of 8–3 in all three match-ups. Although they dropped the No. 1 singles spot, it was a solid match-up for All-American Chua, as it went to three games with one ending in a tie-break. After this defeat, however, they rebounded by sweeping the next five singles games.
Mirroring their performance from the day before, the women’s side went 2–1 in doubles play but then swept the singles games. DePauw put up a bit more of a fight than Denison, as the games ended more closely: two of the match-ups went to a third game instead of ending with a clean 2–0 sweep.
Next week, the women face off against two unranked opponents, Principia and John Carroll, before they head to Murfreesboro, TN for the ITA DIII Team Indoor Championships. The men, on the other hand, do not have another opportunity to tune up before the ITA Championships, as they head to Cleveland to face No. 9 Pomona-Pitzer next weekend.